Lunar landscapes

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Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 2:35 pm

After reading the PGE 2nd Edition from MK, I fell in love with the idea of a lunar Elsweyr. It could make Elsweyr so different from other provinces mods! The Ne Quin-Al desert won't look like the Alik'r desert of Hammerfell (a classic desert) or any other desertic place and the forests of Pellitine won't look like any other tropical jungle (and it may be redundant with P:C who has decided to make Cyrodiil as it). It will be original, exotic and very alien as Morrowind is.
If I could perfectly see what Ne Quin-Al could look like with silver sand, indigo oasis and crystalline mesas, I can't imagine how could look like Pellitine. Maybe the two provinces of Elsweyr are like the two moons in the sky? So this will make Ne Quin-Al is influenced by the grey Secunda and Pellitine by the red Masser. Senchal is now going to have a pink tone so it could fit a new environment.

What can we do about this? Red trees? Red ground? Any ideas? Thinking about viewing the landscape under the influence of LSD could be a start... Laughing

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 10:49 pm

Wait, are you serious about this? If so, I am only to happy to oblige. If not, "teehee!".

So, uh, I figured a lunar Elsweyr would need a part in this mod however small or large. You just clarify your ideas, and we can lay this out. Very Happy

I just want it to be received well by the players. I too, love the description of the silver lands, crystalline mesas, and colorful landscape, but is there any clashing descriptions of Elsweyr in Lore? Book-wise?

Meh, players and their nitpickyness. Troll

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 4:41 pm

Except for the Pocket Guides, there is no description of Elsweyr in game (and even less about its colors). We only know that there is deserts and forests and they are ones of the most dangerous place of Tamriel. But a lunar Elsweyr could explain a lot of stuff about lore. When Talos tried to conquer the moons means that Empire tried to conquer Elsweyr. Stories about characters going to the moons could mean going to Elsweyr. For example, in 36 lessons of Vivec, the Hortator went to the Parliament of Craters. From what we know with the PGE 2nd Edition, I think it could mean somewhere in Torval.

There is a description of Elsweyr in the Infernal City but I don't like it ( I didn't read the books but I trust the TIL ). Anequina be made of plains of stubble and prairies of tall gree grass? This is completly lore-breaking! In the novel, Elsweyr looks more like african savana. It doesn't look like the place where you have to struggle to survive as everyone said until now. And the worst: no sand! ( The proof is even the main character is wondering about this! ) Why Khajiits always talk about "walking on warm sand" if there is no? Mad We coud take inspiration from the novels but we shouldn't stick strictly to the description made therein.

And we should think about other provinces. Not all are yet made but we have to make something original to entertain the player. Repetition of the same type of environment will be boring.
P:C already chose a tropical feeling for their Cyrodiil. Looking for what they done, I think our Pellitine will look a lot like a copy of the forests of Cyrodiil.
And Valenwood and Black Marsh will have tropical forests too. It will be difficult to make something classical that the lore-buffs (except me Razz ) won't say it's in this provinces.
It's the same thing with Hammerfell. In lore, the desert of Alik'r is looking like a "normal" desert with "normal" sand. Making our Ne Quin'Al the same way won't bring anything new.

What I think is that we have a lot of freedom for making an original Elsweyr and a lunar Elsweyr could be a good option.
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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Sun 02 Sep 2012, 12:38 am

Well, I figure something new would be nice, but I never imagined Elsweyr as being the way you described it. I actually like the idea now.

Though, I never imagined our Tropical Forests much like P:C's. Theirs, from the looks of Stirk, seems Brazilian or Floridian. I imagined ours as asian, or middle eastern.

Now, I see ours as an alien and mysterious place. It could mean Elsweyr is literally part of the moons, with this idea, yes?

The "crater walls" of Torval make sense now. However, I think this would be a strain on the eyes and very hard to make. There has to be some way to make this appealing, otherwise, we have to make Lunar Elsweyr into a small stint or another "realm" entirely. Any ideas?

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Sun 02 Sep 2012, 4:23 pm

Though, I never imagined our Tropical Forests much like P:C's. Theirs, from the looks of Stirk, seems Brazilian or Floridian. I imagined ours as asian, or middle eastern.
But they will have a lot in common like palms and ferns. We would have to be careful not to use the same resources.
It could mean Elsweyr is literally part of the moons, with this idea, yes?
Yes, it's the idea. What I think is that Elsweyr is part of the moons AND Nirn. It's something you can't conceive with only an human reason. You have to be a junkie cat (or Michael Kirkbride) to understand it. But it's a pity that we can't replace one of the moons by an image of Nirn so you could have the "nirnshine". Sad (Maybe a futur mod for MGE?)
The "crater walls" of Torval make sense now. However, I think this would be a strain on the eyes and very hard to make.
We could do something like TR did with Blacklight and using a huge mesh with the correct land shaping to simulate a crater?


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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Sun 02 Sep 2012, 8:40 pm

Good idea, I think that'd be awesome. I always wondered how you'd make something like Nirnshine, but maybe Elsweyr is like a part of the moon on Nirn? It'd explain the moons.

I took a small poll on how people envisioned Elsweyr and how they'd react to certain scenarios. And most envisioned a normal desert-like and forest-like at first, but liked a way to see lunar Elsweyr. No one said Lunar Elsweyr was bad, and all said that they'd enjoy another alien land. AFAIK, this can easily work. I wish provak was here for some input...

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by pROvAK on Mon 03 Sep 2012, 12:14 pm

Your wish has been granted. I hadn't thought of Elsweyr quite this way before, but the lore seems sound and the idea fresh. It'll be good to see something completely new that people haven't seen in any Elder Scrolls, or mod.

As for being in an Alien land, I think people will enjoy that esque of Morrowind again. Simulating a crater would be smart, especially if we want to do lunar Elsweyr. I'm guessing it will be accessed sort of like Megaton in Fallout 3, and not be an open city as Morrowind usually is.

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Tue 04 Sep 2012, 1:16 pm

Torval can't be a closed city because the crater doesn't completely encircle the city. The city itself extends in the bay. And it would be difficult to explain why you can't levitate/jump in the city. We don't have a proud Almalexia here. Wink
I think we can have some sort of round cliff to simulate the crater.It will have to be thick enough so you can raise the ground and you can build the Mane Palace on top. But this will have to wait we work on Torval unless you want other little craters scattered across the land?

Except red colored flora, what else can we do that looks like alien/lunar?
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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by pROvAK on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 2:27 am

The landscape itself. Since it is lunar, if you look at pictures of mars or the moon, the land is mostly flat, with the odd ridge and cliff.

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 9:59 pm

pROvAK, you gave me an idea. The Badlands? Maybe they are like what you described. There could be some small craters, cliffs, and canyons. Just like a desolate Martian landscape.


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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Fri 07 Sep 2012, 12:49 am

Double post.

What if Lunar Elsweyr is more of a...heaven, or myth? Bethesda's representations in past games showed a fairly normal Elsweyr, but that is usually unreliable. But...what if?

Can't help but wonder if the stories of silver and crystalline lands are just hallucinations or not. :s

Yeah, I think too much.

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Fri 07 Sep 2012, 2:01 pm

Lunar Elsweyr is just an artistic concept. It's only explicitly mentioned on the official forum by MK (and archived on the TIL). Most players will play Elsweyr without knowing anything about it. The only representation we have in past games was in Arena. It's effectively very unreliable because the lore wasn't fixed. Other descriptions are very generic (hot desert, lush forests, etc...) And Elsweyr is very secretive so there isn't many stories about it outside its frontiers. And finally there was only a few imperial explorers so their reports could be false (you could say it's because disease, skouma overdose, etc...) and the land could be in fact fairly normal.

That mean we could do Elsweyr the way we want and still stick to the lore, but it will be sad if we can't trust a little the books (and the player will be disappointed too). I didn't planned to redo Elsweyr from scratch. affraid But we could do stories in books about fantastic landscapes and wonderful places that doesn't exist in game and say: it was an illusion caused by the overwhelming heat or the moon-sugar in the air (or a place on a part of the moons that isn't in Elsweyr and where the player can't go). You could imagine something like a mental disease (lunar madness?) specific to Elsweyr (made by Sheoggorath or not). Or the opposite: a place that everybody thinks it's just a fairy tale and that really exists.
The main idea about Elsweyr is you can't say what is true or what is false. It's all you can think when you think about the word "Moon": dreams, spirits, mirages, illusions, shapeshifting, magic, strange lights, etc... In game, we could do exterior places that disappear or change. Like a dungeon or a door that exist only at certain hours of the night, a house aging when you're in, water plans that dry when you approach, buildings that you find sometimes stuck in the sand (and sometimes not) or something like that. It's a lot of scripting but it's possible.

I guess "heaven" means "legendary place" more than "paradise" because in lore Elsweyr is mean to be a HELL for its inhabitants. I think it's something about a curse cast by Nirn to punish Khajiit to worship Azura. (Have you noticed the large number of similarities between Elsweyr and Morrowind: Tribes, Wisewomen/Clans Mothers, Kingdoms/Houses, silver sands/ashlands, changed folks and now a curse?)

Elsweyr is an hallucination? In fact it doesn't exist? So what are we working? lol!
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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Tue 11 Sep 2012, 6:22 pm

I see. I think an epic thing would be a quest where you receive "Lunacy" and you see Elsweyr with it's silver lands. (Maybe an interior with special textures for this purpose only?)

I think having a fairly "normal" Elsweyr with bits of Lunacy would be great for players who aren't really lore buffs. Most normal people would probably cry or scream if they saw something like Lunar Elsweyr. You could have wild men roaming the wilds ranting about the silver sands, while all you can see is the normal Elsweyr.

Or perhaps there could be cool references to it like a "Silver Sands Tavern" or some such. I still think the forest could have some color to it. Maybe mostly green with some red trees or even yellow plants or blue plants? I think having some normality with some Alien plants could set the atmosphere.

Perhaps there could actually be some silver canyons in the badlands. Who knows?

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Wed 12 Sep 2012, 6:04 pm

I think the problem with a normal Elsweyr would be that it make the game too plain. This is what Oblivion was criticized for. I don't want an Elsweyr which look like something else.
Those who would cry or scream are probably those who care the less about the lore or the ambiance. They just want new creatures to kill and new loot. If the environment is too different from what they know, they are disturbed and that's why they're mad (I have a brother like that spending hours in each region he can explore but never enjoying it. He only search ways to have stuff and Xp.)
What we enjoy the most when we're playing Morrowind is the feeling to discover another culture. And it's better if it's exotic or alien.
I agree that all the sand don't have to be silver but, from my point of view, Khajiits are so weird - in lore and in game - that it will be sad and boring to find a place that look like a place you can find on Earth. They deserve to have a country like them.

I like the "Lunacy". I think it could be linked with a taking of special moon sugar during a ritual in the main quest, giving the player a sort of second sight. It could be used as a "curse" (so you have to make events to give it or remove it) to enable/disable some elements in game like doors or walls, and twisted versions of the same architectural elements. It could give the feeling you have two Elsweyr, a apparent one and a hidden one!
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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Wed 12 Sep 2012, 9:34 pm

A normal Elsweyr might sound boring, but I never wanted an earthly realm either. I just didn't want headaches. Embarassed

I thought that Morrowind had wonder, but when you saw the Grazelands, Ascadian Isles, West Gash, or even the Ashlands, you saw some normality and you could compare some of it to Earth. You mostly had some normal lands, but scattered within them you had giant mushrooms, rock spires, organic cities(Telvanni), and the wondrous and surprisingly Human-like natives.

I think Elsweyr is a bit more alien than that, but at the same time, all of these races within Tamriel can be largely compared to certain ethnicities on Earth. The Khajiit, in my eyes, represent the African/Indian cultures. While Redguards would seem more...Arabian. Imperials would be Romans and so forth.

What I am getting at, is that yes, we need that alien wonder, but it should feel as if Earth could be beneath your feet were it not for the...say, red and blue colors growing within this land. You would make Earth, then alienate it. In a sense.

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Le Grimacier on Thu 13 Sep 2012, 5:39 pm

I understand. You're right. I thought it could be more exciting to have a totally alien country but it will be hard to make something totally original because we'll have to make it blend with the background and what the other provinces teams are doing. It's The Elder Scrolls world and we can't do anything! Wink

But it's not fun if there is no headaches! Laughing
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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Ryu Hayabusa on Fri 14 Sep 2012, 7:25 pm

Very Happy

Hugs all round!

Aherm...

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Re: Lunar landscapes

Post by Rattfink333 on Wed 10 Oct 2012, 9:53 pm

we could twisty up the landscape in places. There are some VERY weird places here on earth. And go ahead and make up a silver sand texture. We could snake it through places here and there. And litter the areas with it with harvestable alchemical sand thingys (Very technical term there) That way we could give the silver sands some significance.

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